UCJ-UNIPORT Inaugurates New Executives, 9 Others


By Helen Okechukwu 

The Union of Campus Journalists, UCJ UNIPORT, a student journalism outfit in the University of Port Harcourt, on Saturday, April 1, 2023, inaugurated new executive and standing committee members as the next dispensation for the smooth running of the Union.

The inauguration which was held virtually on Google Meet had in attendance over 30 Campus Journalists who witnessed the swearing into office of new executives.

Special guests who graced the 2nd UCJ UNIPORT inauguration ceremony included; Mr Ayoola Adeleke, NUCJ South-South Zonal Secretary, erstwhile President of UCJ Ilorin, Adedimeji Quayyım Abdul-Hafeez and Wisdom Okezie, the outgone President of UCJ Uniport.

Speaking at the inauguration on “Why Campus Journalism? CJs' Role in the Advancement of Media Literacy.”  Ms Joke Kujenya, Executive-In-Charge of Media Mentors Leadership Academy encouraged the newly elected officers to do their best and work together as a team. 

Kujenya advised the student Journalists to be “critical thinkers in reporting issues such as student safety, wellness, academic standards, and campus policies. Adding that, campus journalists can promote transparency, unity and fairness between students and the University Management.

“Campus journalism serves as a stepping stone to career life in the mainstream media. each student must develop the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media content in a variety of forms,”

“For several reasons, Campus Journalism is imperative. Primary, it provides a platform for Students to express their perspective on various issues that helps to enhance their critical thinking and Communication skills, which are essential for success in their potential Career". She said.

She further charged the University of Port Harcourt campus journalists on the need for media literacy by “deploying the importance of fact-checking, through evaluating sources aimed at defacing the image of the University from disinformation and fake news. 

“Work with the University administrators and faculty to promote media literacy as an essential skill for students to develop, and also advocate for the inclusion of media literacy education in the curriculum.”

“Directly teach media literacy skills on how to identify bias in news coverage and stress on fact-checking sources on the open campus community beyond the mass communications’ students,” she added.

Following the swearing into office of the UCJ UNIPORT Officers, Pioneer President and Ex-officio member, Wisdom Okezie who is now a Media Personnel and Reporter for Alimosho-news, Lagos, in his speech, congratulated the new Executives on the occasion of the inauguration.

Wisdom noted that the Union which was founded in March 2021, have gone far in just two years, despite “the askew financial support especially from stakeholders whom we expected would have keyed into the vision.”

He outlined commendable prospects of the Union, as UCJ UNIPORT is the first official media on campus to receive endorsement from the SUG, and the Dean of Students Affairs Unit to transmit information from Elections on Campus each year to the University community.

“Our objective coverage gave us wider acceptance, respect, and the much-desired publicity to blossom through those turbulent times.”

Moved by the efforts of his worthy successor, Kponi Confidence, he stated that the Union has tremendously improved in its bid to maintain and carry out training, conferences, workshops and with big reverend media organizations.

“I was also excited when I read of members of our great union winning awards, being nominated for awards and participating in top-rated media-based discussions facilitated by the very best in both the broadcast, print and new media, in Nigeria,”

“I want to say with all seriousness and in all sincerity, that I am proud of your individual and collective achievements,” he added.

Wisdom further urged the University Management and even the Communications Department to embrace the student journalism outfit and recognized same as an Industrial Training placement for students.

After the 35 minutes speech presentation, the new Executives were sworn into their various positions. The new officers, who took the oath-taking to serve as UCJ-UNIPORT included Ezinne Okoroafor as the Public Relations Officer, Ogbowu Helen Okechukwu as the Vice President, Vivian Eberechukwu as the General Secretary, Favour Onyige as the Financial Secretary and Kponi Confidence as he makes a return as the President of the union of campus journalists, Uniport Chapter. 

Other members of the Publicity Committee who partook in the oath-taking included Abraham Ike, Gift Ngadiba, and Esther Eton. The Publicity Committee is headed by Ezinne Okoroafor. 

The Editorial and Production C'tte included Edeki Ewomazino Jason, Precious Umeh, Chidima  Clement, and Precious Nkemjika. The Editorial is headed by Edeki Ewomazino Jason as the Editor-in-chief.

Success Michael and Mercy Agha were also inaugurated as the financial committee members, headed by Helen Ogbowu.

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